Nvidia has sued two major technology corporations, Qualcomm and Samsung, claiming it has a 13 year old patent over the GPU itself. John Hruska of Extreme Tech comments.
There are two reasons why this case sticks out. First, Nvidia, is suing Samsung — a company which does not build its own graphics IP and merely licenses the work of others, including Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali, and Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR. Nvidia’s blog post claims that Samsung dismissed these issues as a “supplier problem,” ignoring the fact that from Samsung’s perspective, that’s exactly what this is.
Second, while it’s true that this is Nvidia’s first patent lawsuit against another company, many of the patents the company is asserting go right back to the beginning of the GPU era. Nvidia is accusing Samsung and Qualcomm, for example, of violating its patent on transform and lighting engines — a patent that dates back to the early days of 3D accelerated games, some 13 years ago. Most of the other patents are nearly as old, and cover equally fundamental aspects of modern GPU programming.